Characters: Three narrators, Little Fir Tree, Squirrel, Sun, Hare, Two woodcutters, Wind, Swallow, two children, Woman, Man.
Narrator 1: Once upon a time, there was a little fir tree.
Narrator 2: He was not very happy that he was so little.
Narrator 3: He wanted to grow big and tall.
Little Fir Tree: Oh, I wish I was tall like all the other trees.
Squirrel: You should be careful what you wish for.
Sun: Try not to grow up so quickly. You should enjoy the sunshine and the wind blowing freely through your branches.
Hare: Look on the bright side. I can jump over you because you are so little.
Little Fir Tree: I want to grow up and see the world.
Narrator 1: Every autumn, woodcutters would visit the forest.
Woodcutter 1: How about this little fir tree? Shall I cut it down?
Woodcutter 2: Don’t bother. That tree is too small.
Narrator 2: The woodcutters cut down lots of trees, took off their branches and dragged them off.
Little Fir Tree: Where are they going?
Wind: Don’t worry where they are going. Just enjoy being young and free.
Narrator 3: When Christmas time came, the woodcutters would take down the trees but not take off their branches.
Little Fir Tree: Where are they going?
Swallow: People take the trees and decorate them with colourful ornaments.
Little Fir Tree: Oh, how I long to be a Christmas tree.
Squirrel: No, you don’t.
Hare: Stay here with us.
Narrator 1: The tree was still not happy. The next Christmas came and the little fir tree had grown.
Woodcutter 1: Look at this fir tree.
Woodcutter 2: It will make a perfect Christmas tree.
Narrator 2: They cut the tree and sold him to a man who carried him off.
Child 1: What a beautiful Christmas tree.
Child 2: Let’s decorate it.
Narrator 3: After a few days, the fir tree was not happy.
Little Fir Tree: I have such a pain in my neck from standing up straight trying to hold up these ornaments.
(Children run around playing and shouting.)
Little Fir Tree: It is so noisy. I wish I was back in the forest with my friends, the hare, the squirrel, the swallow, the sun and the wind.
Woman: Well, Christmas is over for another year. It is time to get rid of the tree.
She takes off the ornaments. (Man enters.)
Woman: Take this tree away.
Man: I will put it in the yard.
Little Fir Tree: I’m outside at last. How I missed the fresh air.
Narrator 1: As he stretched out, his needles dropped off.
Little Fir Tree: what’s happening? I’m brown and I’m withering. I wish I had enjoyed myself when I was younger. I shouldn’t have wanted to grow up so fast.
Narrator 2: The next day, the man came back with an axe. He chopped up the tree.
Man: This will make great firewood and will keep the family warm this winter.
Narrator 3: The tree’s life was past.
If you want to read more plays for children based on Hans Christian Andersen’s stories click on the link below.
Characters: Three storytellers, three ants, grasshopper, owls, squirrels and bears.
(Stage Directions: the owls, squirrels and bears are in a large semicircle stage right; storytellers are stage left and the ants are in the centre of the stage.)
Storyteller 1: One hot summer’s day …
Storyteller 2: … there were some ants working hard.
Storyteller 3: They were collecting food for the winter. (All the ants are miming digging, pulling and pushing.)
Ant 1: I am so hot.
Ant 2: Me too!
Ant 3: This is very hard work.
Storyteller 1: They saw a grasshopper listening to some music on his iPod. (Grasshopper passes by, singing and dancing; the ants stop work and look at him.)
Storyteller 2: He was dancing …
Storyteller 3: … and laughing and enjoying the lovely weather.
Grasshopper: Ants, you are so silly. You need to enjoy the sunshine.
(Ants start working again.)
Ant 1: We are working hard.
Ant 2: We want to have food for the winter. (Grasshopper keeps dancing.)
Storyteller 1: The grasshopper continued enjoying himself. (The Ants keep working and move stage right.)
Storyteller 2: Winter started to come and the weather got colder and colder.
Storyteller 3: The snow began to fall.
Storyteller 1: The grasshopper was cold and hungry. (Grasshopper rubs his stomach and shivers. He looks at the owls that start to fly around the stage.)
Grasshopper: I am cold and hungry; perhaps my friends the owls will feed me. Owls! Owls! Will you please feed me?
Owls: (Owls fly around the grasshopper and stop centre stage. They stand around the grasshopper.) Twit Tuhooo! Oh no, we will not feed you. (They fly back to their place in the semicircle.)
Grasshopper: Oh dear! I know, I will ask my friends the bears to feed me. (Grasshopper walks towards the bears.) Bears! Bears! Please feed me. (Bears are asleep so he wakes them up and they walk to the centre stage.)
Bears: (The bears are very angry that they have been woken up.) Growl! Growl! Oh no, we will not feed you. (The bears go back to their place in the semicircle.)
Storyteller 1: Then the grasshopper saw some squirrels. (The squirrels mime eating nuts stage right.)
Grasshopper: Squirrels! Squirrels! Please feed me! (They squirrels walk towards him.)
Squirrels: Oh no, we will not feed you. (They hop back to stage right.)
Storyteller 2: The grasshopper was very cold and hungry. He didn’t know what to do. (Grasshopper is shivering and rubbing his stomach.)
Storyteller 3: Then he thought of the ants. (The ants move to the centre of the stage.)
Grasshopper: Ants! Ants! Please feed me. (The ants go into a huddle away from the grasshopper.)
Storyteller 1: The ants thought about it and decided to give him some food. (All the ants face the grasshopper.)
Ant 1: You must promise that next year you will work hard in the summer. (Grasshopper gets down on his hands and knees.)
Grasshopper: Oh thank you Ants, I promise.
Storyteller 1: That summer the grasshopper kept his promise and worked hard to collect food for the next winter. (Grasshopper mimes pushing, pulling, carrying and digging with all the ants.)
Storyteller 2: The lesson of the story is: fail to prepare …
Storyteller 3: …prepare to fail.
If you would like to read more plays scripts based on popular Aesop’s Fables then click on the link below.
The following is a Drama workshop to do with children in primary or elementary school. It is a useful workshop if you want to focus on the issue of Bully and isolation. It is based on the fable from the Panchatantra called “The Lion and the Clever Rabbit”. Here is a link to a version on you tube.
Once the teacher has told the story or watched the video ask the children to get into groups of four.
Physical warm up: In each group there is a monkey, an elephant, a snake and a rabbit. Get the children to move around the room and sound like their different animals. Get them to find the animal that is like them from the other groups and interact and play with them. The teacher gives a loud roar and the animals are frightened.
Teacher in role: The teacher in role as the Lion roars at them. She says “I’m very hungry and I’m going to eat all the animals in the jungle one by one.”
Still Image: In their animal groups the children make a still image of how they feel when they think the Lion is coming to get catch them and eat them.
Thought tracking: Once all groups are in the still image then the teacher out of role goes and touches them on the shoulder. Each animal has to say how they feel at that moment.
Conscience alley: Once the children are out of their still image they make two lines facing each other. The teacher in role as the the Lion walks in between the line as the children speak out as his conscience. The children in the line on the left hand should speak out that it is wrong to scare and eat the other animals and the children on the right hand side should speak out saying that he is right to scare and the eat the animals.
Examples: The left side could say “the animals are scared”, “what about their families?”,
“they want to stay in the jungle and play with their friends”.
The right side could say: “none of the other animals like you”, “you are hungry and you need to eat”, “you have no friends so you don’t care what they think of you”.
Hot seating: The teacher in role as the Lion sits in the hot seat. The children who are being themselves ask the Lion why he is behaving this way. Why does he want to eat all the animals in the jungle? Why is he horrible and mean to the other animals?
Group discussion: Get the children to get into role as their original animals. Tell them that they are going to change the ending of the story because the way the Clever Rabbit treated the Lion was as bad as how the Lion treated the other animals. They must come up with a more positive ending.
Group improvisation: The groups all improvise their endings in front of the other groups. The teacher takes on the role as the Lion in each group.
Role on the wall: Put two outlines of a Lion on the wall. Let the children choose words that describes the Lion before he got stuck in the well and one for after he was rescued from the well.
Closure|relaxation activity: Sleeping Lions – get the children to lie still on the floor and pretend to be a sleep. If they move then they are out and have to wake up with aloud roar.
The following is a play adapted from Roald Dahl’s classic “The Twits.”
Characters: Mr Twit, Mrs Twit, three narrators, four little boys, Roly Poly Bird, monkeys and birds – you can have as many monkeys and birds as you want.
Narrator 1: Mr and Mrs Twit were truly awful people. They were awful in every way. They were awful on the inside and awful on the outside. They never realised that if you are ugly on the inside, you’ll be ugly on the outside too.
Narrator 2: Everybody knows that if you’re beautiful on the inside, you’ll be beautiful on the outside, even if your feet are too big and your ears are too small and you have a wonky nose. When you think beautiful thoughts they shine out of your face like sunbeams. Mr and Mrs Twit never, ever thought beautiful thoughts, so you can imagine how awful they were to look at.
Narrator 3: They hated everything and everyone, and even hated each other. They only thing they loved doing was playing nasty tricks, and they were always trying to see which one of them could be the nastiest.
Mrs Twit: Hmmmmm, what kind of trick can I play on Mr. Twit today? I know! I’ll put some worms in his spaghetti. He’ll never know because I’ll put lots of sauce and cheese on it.
Mr Twit: Where is my dinner?
Mrs Twit: Here it is, dear.
Mr Twit: Hey, my spaghetti is moving!
Mrs Twit: It’s a new kind called squiggly spaghetti. I think it’s delicious.
Narrator 1: Of course, there were no worms in Mrs Twit spaghetti.
Mr Twit: I don’t like it. It is too squishy and bitter.
Mrs Twit: Stop complaining and finish your dinner. I didn’t slave over a hot stove for nothing.
Mr Twit: Okay, okay. (Continues to eat, making faces the whole time, then finishes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.)
Mrs Twit: Do you want to know why your spaghetti was squishy and bitter?
Mr Twit: Why?
Mrs Twit: Because their were worms in it! Ha, ha, ha!
Mr Twit: (running away with his hand in his mouth) I’ll pay you back for this!
Narrator 2: That very night ……
Mr Twit: Hmmmm, what can I do to get Mrs Twit back for putting worms in my spaghetti? I know since she hates frogs so much, I’ll catch one and put it in her bed before she goes to sleep!
(Mr and Mrs Twit go to bed)
Background noise: Ribbit, Ribbit!
Mr Twit: Good night. (Giggles to himself.)
Mrs Twit: Hey, there’s something in my bed.
Mr Twit: What? Something squishy and slimy.
Mrs Twit: Yes, how did you know?
Mr Twit: Oh, I was wondering…
Mrs Twit: Wondering what?
Mr Twit: If It could be a ….
Mrs Twit: A what?
Mr Twit: A frog!
Mrs Twit: Ewww!
Mr. Twit: What’s wrong?
Mrs Twit: There is one in my bed. (Kicks and kicks and kicks and kicks.)
Mr. Twit: Are you okay?
Mrs Twit: Ohhhh …(faints)
Mr. Twit: Hee, hee, hee!
Narrator 3: If you think that’s bad, see how they are to their people.
First little boy: Hey, let’s climb that tree!
Second little boy: But it’s in Mr and Mrs Twit’s yard.
Third little boy: Never mind, we can be quick.
Fourth little boy: Okay, let’s go.
Narrator 1: What the boys didn’t know was Mr. Twit had spread sticky stuff on the branches of the tree, so that he and Mrs Twit could have tasty things for supper, like bugs and birds and small children. As they climb the tree, the first little boy notice something was wrong.
First little boy: Hey, we are stuck.
Second little boy: What do you mean?
Third little boy: Try to get up?
Fourth little boy: Ahh! I can’t.
First little boy: Take your pants off!
Other little boys: Huh?
Narrator 2: The first little boy who was the smartest, knew that it was just their pants that stuck to the tree, and if they took them off, they would be able to get away.
First Little boy: We’re free, we’re free!
Other little boys: We’re free! We’re free.
Narrator 3: All this time, Mr and Mrs Twit had kept some monkey in a cage not far from the tree. They had been caught in the same way that the Twits had try to catch the little boys. When the birds would come and try to roost on the Twits’s tree the monkeys would shout:
Monkeys: There is sticky stuff all over the tree.
If you land on the branches, you will never be free.
So fly away! Fly away! Stay up high!
Or you’ll finish up tomorrow in a hot bird pie.
Narrator 1: The Roly Poly Bird, who watches over all birds, animals and insects decided that enough is enough and that he’d better get involved.
Roly Poly Bird: What is going on here?
Little boys, monkeys and birds: The Twits are awful, they won’t leave us alone.
Roly Poly Bird: Well, let’s see what we can do. Since the Twits have turned your life upside down, maybe we can return the favour and show them what it is like.
Narrator 2: So, all the monkeys, the birds and the little boys set to turn the Twits house upside down. One day, when the Twits were out, they glued all the furniture in the house to the ceiling! Imagine the Twit’s surprise when they came back that day.
Mr Twit: (opening the door) Whoa!
Mrs Twit: What?
Mr Twit: Everything’s upside down!
Mrs Twit: I know! We’ll stand on heads and everything will be right side up.
Mr. Twit: Good idea!
Narrator 3: Just then, one of the birds that had helped to the glue the Twit’s furniture flew in and dripped some glue on the Twits’ heads, but they were far too excited to notice. This was the last and most important part of the Roly Poly Bird’s plan.
Mrs Twit: Ready?
Mr. Twit: Okay!
(The Twits stand on their heads.)
Twits: Oh no! We’re stuck!
Narrator 1: The Twits were indeed stuck. They stayed stuck, no matter how hard they tried to get away and eventually they shrank and shrank until there was nothing left of them but two stinky piles of old clothes.
If you enjoyed this play and would like to see more children’s plays please click below.